David Cameron ‘regrets’ any offence he caused to the families of the Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster by comparing their search for closure to a ‘blind man, in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there’.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said Mr Cameron was ‘expressing his sympathy for how hard it can be to find closure coming to terms with grief’ when he made the remarks.
Mr Cameron was urged to apologise at Prime Minister’s question time by Labour’s Luciana Berger, who said the remarks were ‘grossly offensive’ to the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the 1989 football stadium disaster in Sheffield.
In the Commons, Liverpool Wavertree MP Ms Berger said: “Yesterday it was reported you compared the families of those who died at Hillsborough to a blind man in dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there, and claimed you weren’t getting enough credit for the release of Government papers relating to the tragedy.
“Will you take this opportunity to apologise to the relatives and friends of the 96 victims for these grossly offensive comments?”
Mr Cameron told her: “It is this Government that has done the right thing by opening up the Cabinet papers and trying to help those people find the closure they seek.”
After the Commons exchanges, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister regrets if any offence has been caused.
“He didn’t in any way mean any offence. His intention was quite the opposite.”